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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, alot of guys on here target flatheads , and most eveyone has their techniques they like to use and gear they prefer,etc. etc. But I was curious about what size bait everyone uses. You don't have to reveal your favorite type of bait, just the length of your bait and the size of flattie you are trying to hook up with, example: 6 inch gill targeting 40 lb fish or 12 inch bait for 50+lb fish, etc, etc!
 

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To tell you the truth bro I don't get that safisticated when it comes to matching bait size to a specific size flathead. I have had a 2lb green sunfish get slammed and swallowed by a 10lb flathead! I guess if I had a preference I would say between 4-12 inches.
 

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G'morning guys, I see I'm not the only one up early...............

I'll use at least one or two big baits while hunting flats but the rest are pretty small.

So far all my Flats over 30# have been caught with a 3"-4" baits.

80% of those 3-4" baits were cut bait.

And a large percent of those cut baits were just the heads of small bream, not whole.

I would also say that 90% of the time when I throw a large bait, a greedy Flat in the 15# range will get it instead.

I don't match my bait to the fish. I know some folks throw giant bait and sit it out but I myself would rather catch other fish too. The big bait theory has not worked for me yet....I'll keep on tryin though, in fact, I'll try tonight, LOL.

-Jim-
 

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i agree with what has been said so far.i throw a big bait out,but normally get a 10 to 15 lber on it.a 3 to 4 inch bream produces most of my big fish.so,i don't agree with the bigger the bait the bigger the fish,my PB came on a goldfish between 1 and 2 inches long.
 

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Don,
I've had big flatheads take a 3" sunfish and little 2lb flatheads try to choke down a 1lb piece of skipjack.

For sure if I lived closer to the river I would spend one session a week using huge baits to try for that giant but as it is now I use moderate baits, 4"-6".
If he's in the mood a big fish will eat anything from a 2" 'gill to a 4lb carp but an 8/0 hook pretty much overwhelms a 2" 'gill and a 4lb carp is a real pain in the arse to cast...W
 

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If I'm looking for a 25lb class fish on up, I use a legal (12 inch or above) smallmouth or largemouth bass! Holy Roll me for using America's greatest gamefish for bait, but here in the river I fish, it's flathead crack!:handshake:

I usually have one rod out with small live and one rod out with big rogue bait.
 

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It depends on the time of year. Most of the time I use very large bluegills and sunfish. But just before and during the spawn I use them really small. Up to 3 inches. It's my belief that the males are guarding the nests and wont eat much if at all, and the females can't gorge down big sunfish when they're full of eggs. I usually do pretty good this time of year on small baits. If you sport fishing guys wanna try something new, right now, and for the next couple weeks, is the time the males are on the nests and will strike anything that swims into the nest area. Simply out of agression. Which makes this a perfect time to throw rattle trap crank bait lures. If you know of a lowhead dam, or any other place with rockbeds that flatheads like to nest on, try this out. If you catch them at the right time you can catch 3-5 fish or so over 20 pounds ON A BASS BAIT!! I figured this out after I was watching a guy fishing with them and getting "snagged" over and over at our lowhead dam. I was watching his pole and it was obvious to me that had a big fish on several times and he just broke his line off thinking he was snagged. The fish would hit as he passed by, or over the nest and go right back down to the rocks. I seen the tip of his pole 'as he had the rod doubled' surging just a couple of inches back and forth. The next day I bought 3 or 4 of these lures and went back down there. I hammered big flatheads all morning on them. They were all males. 1 of them had a lure still stuck in his mouth from the day before. I had so much fun that day. My buddy and I laughed all morning about catching big catfish on bass lures. Try it out. If you find the right spot, at the right time I can guarantee you will have fun. I've caught them at the right time 3-4 times over the years and it never fails to entertain me to catch catfish on bass lures. But then again, I'm the type of guy that's entertained by throwing old fried chicken over the fence into the chicken coup and watching them eat it. LOL
 

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Like Blacky said Largemouth Bass gets more hits for me quicker than any other bait. of course I get fish on gills, but when a bass goes in my spot it doesnt last long lol. I have gotten my biggest ones on cutbait (gill heads or cut shad) in 45' of water middle of day. The smaller flatties seem to hit my bigger baits before the big flatties do. Im gonna finally try a big bullhead this weekend though. Never used them for bait, gonna try here in the james which is really known for big flatties. we will see. I have also caught flatties (my first 4) to be exact on Rapala's in the Mississippi river, no monsters though
 

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My bait size is dependant on what I can catch in the creek before I go to the river. Preference is toward bigger baits: 6-14 inch drum, bullhead, greenies, bluegills. I've used goldfish quite a few times that were anywhere from 2-6 inches long. I've found that I catch more flatties on goldfish than anything, but every one of them is small. My big flatties come on the other baits, primarily bullhead and bluegills. I also tend to catch alot of big channel cats on greenies. So, it boils down to this: Big flatties size of bait isn't much of a factor as long as I use bullheads or bluegills. For quantity over quality-goldfish (it's also my experience that gar are more apt to smack a goldfish than anything else too). If I wanna catch either a big flatty or a big channel cat, greenies. Maybe my river is strange, but it's been my experience that it's more the type of bait you are using than the size.
 

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I prefer 2 to 4" gills. I also catch the larger flats on the smaller baits. I have fished large baits side by side of the smaller ones and it is usally the smaller bait that gets hammered. I think the action of the larger baits drawes them in but the smaller baits is what gets em.
 

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I like 4" gills and up.I,ll use any livebait I can get my hands on.I agree too that sometimes the biggest fish of the night will hit on the smallest gill.I think a lot of it comes down to where ya got your bait placed.Big flat,s gonna eat the 1st one he comes across.I,ve personally haven,t ever found a top size that,s gonna be too big.
 

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In the Neuse river my best bait by far for the flatheads 20 and over is the large bass minnow.
Commonly a 3" minnow. Minnow that small don't live long impailed by a 10/0 hook.
I hook up more often with a smaller bait too.
 

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It depends on the time of year. Most of the time I use very large bluegills and sunfish. But just before and during the spawn I use them really small. Up to 3 inches. It's my belief that the males are guarding the nests and wont eat much if at all, and the females can't gorge down big sunfish when they're full of eggs. I usually do pretty good this time of year on small baits. If you sport fishing guys wanna try something new, right now, and for the next couple weeks, is the time the males are on the nests and will strike anything that swims into the nest area. Simply out of agression. Which makes this a perfect time to throw rattle trap crank bait lures. If you know of a lowhead dam, or any other place with rockbeds that flatheads like to nest on, try this out. If you catch them at the right time you can catch 3-5 fish or so over 20 pounds ON A BASS BAIT!! I figured this out after I was watching a guy fishing with them and getting "snagged" over and over at our lowhead dam. I was watching his pole and it was obvious to me that had a big fish on several times and he just broke his line off thinking he was snagged. The fish would hit as he passed by, or over the nest and go right back down to the rocks. I seen the tip of his pole 'as he had the rod doubled' surging just a couple of inches back and forth. The next day I bought 3 or 4 of these lures and went back down there. I hammered big flatheads all morning on them. They were all males. 1 of them had a lure still stuck in his mouth from the day before. I had so much fun that day. My buddy and I laughed all morning about catching big catfish on bass lures. Try it out. If you find the right spot, at the right time I can guarantee you will have fun. I've caught them at the right time 3-4 times over the years and it never fails to entertain me to catch catfish on bass lures. But then again, I'm the type of guy that's entertained by throwing old fried chicken over the fence into the chicken coup and watching them eat it. LOL
See what I mean. It's that time for the Oklahoma flatheaders. check this out.-----> NewsOK
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LOL Byron! some people have all the luck! I've caught my fair share but also seen guys catch 80 lb. flatties by accident fishing for crappie and white bass with a crappie jig. makes you want to tell them they don't deserve a fish like that, but heck it might just make them into a catfisherman,lady luck is a strange lover when she hands out her kisses, no rhyme or reason at all.
 
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